Parents Of Fallen Soldier React To Posthumous Silver Star

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Staff Sergeant Michael Ollis was a soldier in the 1st Brigade Combat Team.

He died in Afghanistan on August 28 when he gave his life to save a Polish officer from a suicide attack.
 
Now, the military confirms the 24 year old is being posthumously awarded a Silver Star, the military's third highest decoration for valor.

Originally from Staten Island, his parents say Ollis had always wanted to serve his country.

"He had a great thing about him of helping people and I think through the armed service he really felt that he could do that," said Robert Ollis.

Sergeant Ollis was killed in Afghanistan when insurgents attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device.

He sacrificed his life to protect a Polish officer by stepping in front of an insurgent wearing an explosive vest, and was killed when the attacker's vest detonated.

"He was moving to the sound of the guns and saving soldier's lives - leading from the front when he was killed," said  Maj. Gen Stephen Townsend, commander of the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum.

Robert and Linda Ollis say their son will be remembered as an inspiration,  someone who gave his life fighting for our country.

They say it's an honor for him to be awarded the Silver Star.

Their only wish? That he could be here with them to receive it.

"It's such a great achievement in his life and it's just unfortunate that he's not here to really, to receive it," said Robert.

Staff Sergeant Michael Ollis is also being awarded a Gold Medal of Valor from the Polish government.

His parents will receive the Silver Star on his behalf at a ceremony set for October 24 at Fort Drum.

Thursday, November 27, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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